Archive

Voter ID law may affect 13K in county | TribLIVE.com
News

Voter ID law may affect 13K in county

Rich Cholodofsky

As many as 12,800 registered voters in Westmoreland County could be affected by Pennsylvania's new voter identification law.

Elections Bureau Director Jim Montini said on Wednesday that Pennsylvania Department of State statistics show more than 5 percent of the county's 233,000 registered voters might be impacted by the law that will be implemented for the first time in the Nov. 6 general election.

According to state statistics, the law could affect more than 99,000 voters in Allegheny County, 8,400 in Fayette and 4,500 in Indiana County.

Statewide, officials estimate more than 758,000 voters lack a valid photo identification needed to cast at ballot.

The figures include voters who do not have driver's licenses.

Montini cautioned that because the law allows other forms of identification — passports or military and work identification cards — the number of voters affected could be significantly less.

Voters with no identification on Election Day will be permitted to cast provisionary ballots. They will have six days to report to the elections bureau at the courthouse in Greensburg with a valid photo ID in order to have the ballot counted.

With the law being challenged in Commonwealth Court and a U.S. Justice Department investigation pending, county officials are not certain what the requirements will be on Nov. 6.

“We're just in a holding pattern, waiting to see what's going on with this,” Montini said.

For now, the county is preparing as if the identification law will remain on the books.

Poll workers earn $80 for their day's work.

For the spring primary, the county hired 50 workers to staff polling precincts. Officials have proposed adding 306 more workers, one new employee for every precinct, which would cost the county more than $24,000.

Montini said that plan is being revised and that he'll recommend that the county commissioners hire only 120 new polls workers at a cost of $9,600.

“We've reviewed our system and determined that some precincts are already staffed well enough,” he said.

If approved, the additional staff will work to process voters and check identification on Election Day.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.